Editor's note: This updates with President Obama officially nominating Sally Jewell for Interior secretary, and adds reaction.
Sally Jewell, who runs the outdoor gear retailer REI, was formally nominated by President Obama on Wednesday to replace retiring Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
In making the nomination announcement from the White House state dining room, the president cited Ms. Jewell's background as both a petroleum engineer and businesswoman, saying she is "an expert on the energy and climate issues that are going to shape our future."
Ms. Jewell would seem to be a strong pick for the position, although some multiple-use groups might voice concern as she sits on the board of the National Parks Conservation Association.
At the NPCA, President Tom Kiernan praised the selection, saying Ms. Jewell "is an outstanding business leader, advocate for outdoor recreation, and national parks supporter..."
"Sally Jewell’s business expertise and passion for the outdoors, recreation and conservation foretells her success as Secretary of the Interior," he added in a prepared statement. "She is a collaborative leader who has worked tirelessly over the last decade to get kids and families outdoors and address the national parks’ chronic funding needs."
In her role as REI's CEO, Ms. Jewell was invited to the White House in 2011 when President Obama's "America's Great Outdoors" initiative was launched. She also was one of the speakers at America's Summit on National Parks held in Washington in January 2012.
U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and chairs the National Parks Subcommittee, also applauded the nomination.
"As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will have a hand in ensuring that Sally Jewell has the skills and policy acumen to carry out the important work of the Interior Department and uphold the legacy left by Ken Salazar and many others there," Sen. Udall said in a prepared statement. "I appreciate her private-sector experience as head of one of the foremost outdoor equipment retailers, and I look forward to speaking with her about her vision for managing our public lands and how she would attack the challenges we face in Colorado and the West."